Carolyn Bertram

Speaker Carolyn Bertram ruled there was a lack of evidence that Finance Minister Wes Sheridan misled the Legislature. (Province of P.E.I.)

P.E.I. Legislature Speaker Carolyn Bertram ruled on Tuesday against an Opposition motion to find Finance Minister Wes Sheridan in contempt of the Legislature.

Opposition leader Steven Myers had asked the speaker to rule on whether Sheridan deliberately misled the house in the way he accounted for HST compensation from the federal government. Sheridan originally tried to count $25 million of that compensation as revenue in 2012-13, but the auditor general told him he had to account for it in 2013-14, the year HST was introduced.

Myers charged the change was deliberate, to make the deficit appear lower in both years.

Bertram ruled the case didn't meet the requirements to send it to a committee.

"I've carefully reviewed the materials provided by the leader of the Opposition, along with the relevant Hansard transcripts and associated documentation," she told the house.

"The point of privilege, directed to me for a ruling, by the honourable leader of the Opposition, does not fulfill the requirements for a prima facie case of privilege, for that reason, and pursuant to rule 45.3 of the rules of the legislative assembly of Prince Edward Island, I cannot allow the motion proposed by the leader of the Opposition to proceed."

Finance Minister Wes Sheridan has said he has been clear in how the money was accounted for every step along the way.